Women in the Museum

Women have had a prominent role in society despite male hegemony has not allowed them to assume leading roles.

A new feminist reading in the collections confronts us with the traditional discourses and stereotypes that have baked the collective imagination since time immemorial. We must unlearn history and recover the female references of all times to end patriarchal roles.

This new look at objects should bring to light stories of invisible women who until now had not focused on universal themes such as health, care, gastronomy, art, music or science.

We turn the old speeches surrounding the stone projectiles to remember the mothers of the feared Talayotic foneros. Those mothers  instructed the little boys and daughters in the art of shooting in fona, as testified by Licofró de Calcis, Roman author of the first century AD. Let us remember with the mortar that it was a woman who emulsified the first madril.  

The women of the Menorcan rural world, that is, the madones, have an important role in the countryside. Also as transmitters of knowledge, and connect us with the most ancestral and with the common memory that fossilizes in objects that have been used changing, or not, their physiognomy: a pot, an ointment or a horse to quesar. 

Grandmothers, mothers and daughters are transmitters of wisdom and custody of a legacy related to the care of the community. For this primordial knowledge, many times, they have been persecuted and punished. The Inquisition, with characters such as Roberto Bellarmino, represented in a bottle of the Museum, judged so many women considered witches. 

The representation of women throughout history and art goes beyond their presence in a painting. We must delve into the significance of the paintings: we have not been only the muses. Thus the new look, and ultimately, a rereading of the museum's collections empowers them because women, after all, have transmitted rights, wealth and legitimacy of lineage. Let's take for example two women, mother and daughter: Eulàlia Poly and Àngela Seguí Poly.

The nineteenth century was a time of transformations and revolutions. Women were present in the new industrial world that was being forged, despite the patriarchal structure. Industrial workers were crucial in the struggle for universal rights, a preamble to demands that have reached the present day. The silver bag would symbolize this working woman empowered in the social struggle.

In Menorca many women in science have excelled. Great pioneers in different fields of knowledge linked to cultural heritage, some from feminist activism. This is the case of Margaret Murray who headed the first archaeological research with scientific methodology Menorca. The English paleontologist Dorotea Bate, discoverer of Myotragus, or the archaeologists Celia Topp, Maria Petrus Pons or Maria Llogaia Serra Belabre, director of the Museum of Fine Arts of Maó.